Elegant, refined and athletic, Azawakhs are memorable dogs which will run you off your feet. They need plenty of exercise and are protective of their owners. They can be wary of people they don’t know but are not aggressive. Sighthounds which were originally bred to hunt, they are attracted by motion and will chase just about anything. However, after fun and games outdoors they will be suitably chilled at home.
Which breed group is the Azawakh in?
Breed group: Hound
Azawakh breed history
Hailing from West Africa, Azawakhs are sighthounds and camp guardians for tribes in the Azawakh valley. These dogs have ancient origins which have been lost in the mists of time but they are now common in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. This breed is recognised by the Kennel Klub and is becoming increasingly popular.
Azawakh breed characteristics
Boasting a similar look to the Saluki, the Azawakh is elegant, lean and muscular. This is a large dog with long legs and fine skin which is incredibly swift of foot. Azawakh coats are short and smooth. Acceptable colours include clear sand to dark red, white, black, blue, grey, brindle, grizzle, parti-color and all shades of brown, including chocolate. The stomach may be hairless. These dogs have large eyes which are almond shaped. Their ears are triangular with rounded tips. Their tails are set low and are long and lean. Tails are carried with tips slightly raised in repose. Tails may be raised above horizontal when the dogs are in motion.
Azawakhs are gentle and affectionate by nature. They love their families and are protective of them but can be wary of strangers and dislike being touched by people they don't know. They are attracted to anything that moves and that can include bicycles and joggers!
- Lifespan: 10-13 years
- Height: up to 74cm
- Weight: up to 25kg
- Long legs
- Smooth coats in a variety of colours
- Large almond shaped eyes
- Triangular ears
- Low set tails
- Will chase anything in motion
- Wary of strangers
- Protective of owners
- Good guard dogs
- Feel the cold
Health issues with Azawakhs
Azawakhs are surprisingly robust animals, given their slender build. They don’t injure easily and do not suffer from hip dysplasia. However, they are prone to epilepsy and wobbler disease.
What is the Azawakh bred for?
These dogs evolved in West Africa where they were kept by tribes as hunting dogs which also guarded camps.
What sort of owners does the Azawakh suit?
Azawakhs have grown in popularity in recent years, perhaps due to their refined appearance and calm natures. They can be excellent pets and companions but should be chosen advisedly as they require a considerable amount of exercise. These dogs would be excellent choices for joggers who like to run with their dogs. When they have received enough exercise, Azawakhs are quite happy to lounge around at home. They tend to feel the cold and so are happier in warmer climates. Azawakhs are best suited to active owners and homes with gardens. They are good with children but they are sighthounds and so will chase animals, bicycles, kids and anything that moves.